There are times when we want to say something, but we worry about what others might think so we keep it to ourselves.
We want to do something but we worry what others might think of our behavior.
What if someone scolds me?
Talks about me?
Disapproves of me?
So often we allow our 'what if's' to stop us.
Keep us where we are, where we feel safe..
What if I fail?
What if I'm left alone?
What if I'm wrong?
What if no one will like me anymore?
What of you're right? What if you're never alone? What if you succeed? What if you make new friends? Or grow the relationships you already have?
It could happen. Couldn't it?
There are so many things that keep us in fear.
But I think mostly, we worry about not being comfortable. We don't want to be in a place or situation that isn't familiar. We don't want to step away from who we know. It doesn't matter if they are good for us or not.. They are familiar.
The desire to be loved, to fit in, to be popular. Once you are there, once you get a taste of it, you strive to hang on to it.
It doesn't matter if it's true. You can always twist it until it is. It doesn't matter if it doesn't feel quite right; you can overlook it if it means you can be where you're comfortable. Where everyone likes you. Even if they don't really know you, they think they do. We try to be who they think we are so we can stay where we are.
Safe. Protected. Part of something.
And that is so important to us isn't it?
We compromise so much for that don't we? Oh sure, we all say that we wouldn't compromise our convictions, that we won't do anything just because everyone else is doing it.. We declare that we won't behave certain ways, say certain things, just to fit in. We like to say that we would never just follow the crowd for the sake of being part of it.
But we do.
Yes. We do.
We like to say that we don't hold grudges. But we do.
We like to say that we always put others before ourselves.
But we don't. Not always.
We are offensive
We are defensive
We pretend to be humble, and then brag about our humility.
We say that we help others, that it's always about giving; that it's about them, not us.
Then we advertise our good deeds.
"Look at me! I'm serving! I'm doing good for others! I'm giving!"
*insert sarcastic tone here*
Oh, but it's always to inspire others to do the same, not because we want to draw attention to ourselves.
Yeah. Right. Sure.
C'mon.. You've done it.
I've done it.
We've all done it..
Have you ever sat back and just took stock of your life?
Do you think about where you are now, where you used to be, where you're going?
Isn't it funny how you are pretty sure that you have a plan, you like the plan, and you think "alright, lets move forward with this plan" or "everything is moving along perfectly, lets just keep up the momentum"..
And then, without any warning or any building up to it, things just all of a sudden come to a stop; or there is a change in direction. You realize that you have come to a fork in the road. The funny thing is however, you are pretty sure you were looking straight ahead the whole time and you never saw the fork until it was right in front of you..
Usually when you come to a fork in the road (especially one you didn't see before and weren't even expecting) you stop and ask yourself "which way do I go? Left or right?" then, after much consideration, you make your choice..
It's not unusual though, after you have made your choice and gone along the road for a while to wonder if you made the right choice, or maybe you wonder what the other direction would have been like.. Or maybe you wonder what you left behind when you chose the direction you did;
I know that a lot of people say that they love a good adventure, they love surprises, that the unknown is exciting.. But I don't think I know even one person who doesn't, (at least deep down) like to have some resemblance of a plan.
But what would happen if you chose your direction without even realizing that you had come to the fork in the road? What if you just stopped for a second and glanced behind you to see that yes, there was a fork; but you never even paused to consider the other direction, because you just knew that you were on the path you were supposed to be?
I know people who have said "I am at peace"..
What they mean is, they are at peace with a decision, with a situation, with a particular area in their life, or a difficulty they are facing..
But I don't think that I have ever known anyone who was completely at peace with who they are.
What they are
Where they are going
Where they have been
Where they are right now
Do you know what it's like to recognize that you have forgiven everyone in your life who has ever hurt you, made you angry, upset you, lied to you, disappointed you, stole from you, left you, or betrayed you?
To fully understand that you aren't mad at anyone. At all? Really?
Or to come to the realization that you are completely free of all resentment, guilt or blame you have ever felt for anyone in your life? Even more so, do know how it feels when you know that you know, that you are utterly free of any concern for any guilt, resentment, or blame that anyone may feel toward you?
Do you know what it's like to honestly say that you know that those who love you, really love you; and those who don't love you or even like you have no real bearing on how much you love them?
Do you know what it's like to have the confidence to say to anyone who will listen:
"I know who I am. I don't know where I am going but I know who goes with me. I know where I will end up, and I know who will be there when I do. I don't know what I am gong to do, or how I am going to do it, but I know I won't be doing it alone. I don't care if I suffer, I don't care if I go without, I don't care if I'm happy or unhappy; because I have joy."
I can say that. With absolute confidence.
Because now I know the truth. I really do.
I'm not worried anymore. About anything. I know that whatever happens, good or bad. No matter how painful it is, no matter how devastating it may be; I know it will happen because it's supposed to happen.
Because God is sovereign, and nothing happens outside of His control. Good or bad. No matter how miserable or broken I may be; I know the truth.
There is nothing that anyone can ever say, no argument that anyone can ever make that will change it.
It truly is what it is.
"you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." -John 8:32
An enormous message packed into just one sentence.
I've read it many times. I've heard it many times. But I never comprehended the magnitude of this sentence that has been so overused and taken out of context over and over.
I am at peace.
God is good.